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I have had my 2012 SG Standard for 18 months and absolutely love it - it's a great guitar! I used it exclusively until I recently bought a Fender American Vintage 58 Tele for a bargain price... and here is my problem. Sound-wise, the Tele blows away the SG in terms of the quality of the tones from the pick-ups - it just sounds soooo good - and it is even a bit louder than my beloved Gibson (surely, single coils shouldn't be louder than humbuckers?) Both guitars have stock pick-ups - 490R & 498T in the SG and Fender's 58s in the Tele. This is really bugging me because I cannot understand why my SG sounds so poor next to the Tele. I have had SGs (Les Pauls, 335) before and they all sounded amazing. What is wrong with my SG? (I cannot believe the Tele's pick-us are that good!) Help... any suggestions welcome. (I change the strings regularly - on both guitars I use D'Addarios.)


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Well here's a different answer to your observation, but since no one else offered it up, I will.


Are you using the same amp and the same amp settings to compare both guitars? IMO, it sounds like your amp is really optimally set to get a killer tone out of the Tele's single coils, but maybe there is some tweaking to do to make it sound as 'good' as the SG (and yeah, I agree, apples vs oranges). I think a lot of times we forget that you can pick the guitar to match the amp, instead of the other way around.

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Yep! Tele's have a brighter, rounder, more "sparkled" tone, than Gibby's with Humbuckers!

Humbucker's actually sound almost "muddy" compared to Telecasters, all things being equal.

Personally, I love the differences, for what they allow me to choose from, tonally. But...

If you decide you can't live with the differences, before you sell/trade your SG, try putting

some P-90's or P-94's in it. Several companies make direct "drop in's" so you don't have

to alter the guitar, at all. Or, even before you change pickups, simply try a guitar with

those pickups already in it, if possible, and compare to your Telecaster. That way, you'll

know if you want to bother changing pickups, or not.


The volume level might be somewhat compensated for, by raising or lowering

the pickups, to get the guitars in closer "balance" with one another. But,

they will never sound exactly "alike!"


Good Luck!



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Thanks for the replies, guys. [thumbup]


I think Dino may have nailed it... played the SG through a Vox last night - it sounded so good I didn't use the Tele (normally both go through the same Fender amp). So which is the best-suited amp for an SG? [biggrin]


Wow that is a loaded question isn't it? I have to tell you that I am a believer that most good tube amps can be tweaked to sound good for either single coils or humbuckers but you have to take time to experiment. Particularly if your amp has an EFX loop an EQ pedal can help out. A boost pedal out front can help compensate for lower output pickups when switching guitars at a gig. The 'ideal' setting for single coils more than likely is not going to sound as good for humbuckers.


I have a Peavey Classic 30. I've "modded" it just a bit with different preamp tubes and a WGS speaker but regardless of that I've always found that amp better suited for humbuckers which sort of surprises me. A friend loaned me an American Strat once and I couldn't get a good tone through that amp until I backed off the volume on the guitar a bit.


My long winded point is there are a lot of knobs on the amp and guitar to experiment with. I don't believe there is one amp that is best suited for any guitar but of course there are higher and lower gain amps to help you with different genres of music i.e. Metal vs Country vs Blues etc.

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That's easy, a Marshall tube amp.


The bigger the better!




Seriously, though...any good valve/tube amp, and even some Solid State

amps will sound great, with ANY guitar...including SG's! It'a a matter

of finding the one(s) you love, and have YOUR idea of great tone.

BB King used Gibson "Lab" series amps (all Solid State) for years,

as well as (all valve) Fender Twin Reverbs. Two very different amps, in character

and tone! BUT, he managed to get "HIS" sweet tone, out of either one.

So, "the Best" amp, is the one that works for you!

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I think Charlie hit the nail on the head.


We're talking different guitars, and different concepts - and in ways, too, different technique.


But here's one that I've referenced a number of times - wailing blues guy Roy Buchanan sounding almost... HB sounding, something seldom noted for this late Tele giant. Note too how his technique isn't by intent the sharper Tele bridge emphasis.


Me... I simply don't care for the tele neck and scale. It definitely can get some nice sound, it's a matter of the player - and I'll add that IMHO, that's far more relevant than the specific amp as well.




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